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Exploring new channels of the smut stream

I was hoping to find something filthier and faster-moving as a good metaphor here...

I was hoping to find something filthier and faster-moving as a good metaphor here...

So, I am going to get more reviews going in this space in the next few weeks. The timing of this whole thing feels like a New Year's resolution, except it's not, it was just a delay on my end, when a few writers responded to my initial call saying, "Yes, I have some (kink/male sub/genderqueer/werewolf) erotica, what format would you like it in?"

I don't have a Kindle or any kind of electronic reader, I just have my laptop and smart phone, so I said PDF, and now I'm waiting. I understand, I mean, PDF is probably just the next step up from a raw text file these days. It takes time to pull words out of a proprietary framework and just drop them back into words again.

At moments like these, I feel like a complete Luddite. Even though I read a lot on line, and have very little actual room for printed materials in my nomadic life, the fondest memories in my reading life involve physical books, like, when I used to get little boxes of food books from publishers, on a regular basis, to review for the newspaper I worked at. Yeah, this was a long time ago. Before that, I checked out stacks of books from libraries, which, like book reviewing, requires a regular place to stack books and, oh, I don't know, a legal address in that city in order to get a library card. At this point I have neither book surfaces nor a fixed abode and my reading habits haven't yet caught up with that fact.

Ditto for writing and publishing. Yes, I am typing this right now on a laptop, and will be pushing it out on this web site. At the same time, let's be real: one of my primary methods of producing erotica involves sitting my actual ass down on a folding chair, on an uneven sidewalk, and cranking double-spaced lines of smut out on a manual typewriter, for one reader at a time. I'm a bit old-fashioned. Taking digital photos of the results and then gathering my favorites in a little book every year is only taking the issue and pushing it one stop further down the line. I still get stuck on wanting people to hold my writing in their hands, in the same way that I want to hold it—the physical paper, the printed word—and I keep having to shake myself out of that rut.

I do my best to keep up with technology. So, like, two years ago I experimented with 120-character erotic bits on Twitter. I did them in spurts (heh heh), called them one-hour marathons, and just pounded out #threesecondsmut as quickly as I could. It turned out to be not that fast, but it was still fun.

Just this week, I wound up doing this thing on Facebook; a multi-part poetry installation, I called it. I dunno, I had just gotten done going through a Kink Questionnaire with a sweetheart, and I found myself going back to the original. The answers it asked for, they weren't enough for me. I wanted to say more, to dig deeper into my own erotic charge. So I used each section of questions as a prompt for a related bit of prose/free-style poetry, and posted up a new piece every hour, except when I slept, for 24 hours. My people found the pieces, they liked them, they "liked" them.

For some writers that's enough, that they're getting likes, that they're getting shared. That they're getting seen. Myself, I am always thinking about the next thing to do with that material. My "art-repreneurial" brain does not shut off; it understandably would like financial recognition for the enjoyment that I bring. And the Luddite in me doesn't really appreciate the ephemeral nature of online writing. I always want to nail stuff down somehow. Is that such a bad thing?

<deep breath>

No. No, it is not a bad thing for me to keep in mind, as I wait for other people's erotic works to cross my (virtual) bookshelf, as I sit with my own creations and see where they should go. Yes, I need to diversify my channels, not only to find more and creative ways to earn a living ("monetize my writing") but also to reach more people in more, different ways, addressing all the different reasons why they might be reading erotica in the first place.

Some people really do love the story lines. Some people want to hear it, or can't read print, so they have to hear it. Some people want something one-handed. Some people want something they can tuck away in a memento box, and remember that it was written specially for them. And some people just want that little flash of smut in the Facebook feed, like the silver belly of a fish in a fast-flowing ocean. They feel lucky that they got to see it at all.

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